Posts tagged Project Natal
No silly memes, no riffing on major world news events — this is just your typical, run-of-the-mill backlog. But isn’t that cause enough for celebration?
No? Hm. Well, here, check out Stephen Colbert’s exclusive preview of Microsoft’s Project Natal:
News for Tuesday: The UK acquires a unified games rating system — seems pleased, and Microsoft already shoots back at 1UP’s Natal rumors.
After a bit of governmental deliberation the United Kingdom has chosen to make PEGI (Pan European Game Information) ratings the sole standard for labeling the content of videogames. The decision came about as part of the Digital Britain report, an inquiry begun last October by Stephen Carter, the country’s first Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting, to primarily help modernize Britain’s telecommunications capabilities. PEGI’s ratings will be enacted with help from the independent Video Standards Council (think of it as the British version of the Entertainment Consumers Assocation…kinda).
In light of Tuesday’s announcement, PEGI has unveiled its new color-coded classification icons for UK game releases, as seen above. The freshly minted labels keep the same age ranges as the previous ones, but ditch the black-and-white, Electronic Software Ratings Board-like design.
Previous to Tuesday’s ruling, PEGI ratings were used in conjunction with the British Board of Film Classification‘s (BBFC) system of certificate labeling (e.g., Universal, 12 and 18 among others), resulting in a somewhat confusing dual game rating — especially for mature titles. Now that PEGI has control of classifying videogames released in the UK, the hope is to create a clearer and more easily managed system which provides parents and families with easy-to-understand ratings.
Day 1 of E3 2009 — full of press conferences from Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and the big press event from Microsoft earlier this morning. Having spent the day taking in what each of these groups had to offer, we’ve got a little bit of judgment to pass now. Sure, it’s early, but here are some thoughts coming out of the first day…
Based purely on what’s been shown today, and assuming things go to plan:
The Sure-fire Big Winner: Xbox Live
Direct download capability for 1080p movies and Xbox 360 games; an expanded Netflix lineup; Facebook, Last.fm and Twitter tie-ins to come in the fall; and a whole host of exclusive downloads and DLC content for games coming this year. That $50 a year spent on an Xbox Live gold account keeps looking better and better, and regardless how the games turn out, what you’ll be able to do with the system grows and grows.
Most Important Announcement: Microsoft’s Project Natal
We knew it was coming. It may even have been shown a year ago, before Microsoft acquired the company responsible for the technology. But actually seeing Project Natal — Microsoft’s code name for its controller-less motion control device — was very stunning. Sure, some of the tech demos displayed (a ball kicking/punching/heading game, motion to control the Xbox dashboard) were a bit hokey…but they showed a level of motion-recognition that was very tight and reactive. The big deal was Lionhead Studios (publishers of Fable 2, Black and White and many other games) and the tech demo they created where players could interact with a schoolboy named Milo. To say it encroached on the uncanny valley is an understatement; if it’s what the video demonstration billed it to be, it’s less a game and more interacting with a legitimate AI character. Absolutely stunning.
To say that Microsoft could capitalize on the market the Nintendo Wii has pioneered while also pushing the boundaries of what’s possible as an interactive activity with Project Natal is an understatement. The potential is there; whether it comes to fruition in the final form will be interesting to see.